“Pirates of the Caribbean” helmer Gore Verbinski is a huge fan of Korean films. Who knew?

Helmer said that he would love to work with Choi Min-sik and Song Kang-ho, having learned of them from watching Korean movies on DVD during the down time between film shoots.

Confession emerged at a Tuesday panel discussion with Michelle Yeoh and CAA talent agents Peter Loehr and Spencer Baumgarten organized as part of Pusan fest’s Co-Production PRO section.

He said that Choi and Song are great actors who truly inhabit their roles and that Korean filmmaking allows them greater freedom to do so. “Western storytelling has run its course in a way; there’s a lot to be learned (in Asia),” Verbinski said.

Panel discussed the growing potential for Asian stars to be cast in Hollywood movies and for Hollywood congloms to invest more in Asian pics. Yeoh said that Asian box office is now big enough to interest Hollywood studios.

“As we move more toward a two-thirds, one-third split between international (B.O.) and domestic, people will take more notice of Asia, and more roles will be cast,” Baumgarten said. “We’ll see that the U.S. market has peaked and that the rest of the world is expanding.”